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outlook folders give error: "The operation failed. An object could not be found".

Posted on 2006-04-08
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I've googled this quite a bit, but haven't had much luck. I need a heavy duty registry expert to give me some more ideas.

I have 7 folders open in outlook 2003.  3 are on c:\ActivePsts\  and 4 are on c:\ArchivePsts\

Today I tried to use file > properties > advanced but I got the error message. I get the same error if I try to close the PSTs.

  The operation failed. An object could not be found.

Only the 4 files in ArchivePsts have this problem, but they seem to be fine in all other respects.  I have no problems manipulating the emails in them.

Also, when I go to file  > Data File Management  I only see the 3 files in OutlookPsts.

I don't want to rebuild the profile (My 3rd party email indexer takes almost 48 hours to build the indexes!)

I tried following the instructions in http://www.computing.net/office/wwwboard/forum/5203.html

I found four subkeys of HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\rberke
 subkey         001e300a        001f3001           001f6700    <===data name  
   040de ...    mspst.dll         f.o.l.derName1   c:\a.r.c.hivePSTs\PstName1     the whole name is double character, but the mspst.dll is single character
   36726e ...        etc                      etc
Only the bad folders had the single character "mspst.dll" entries. Good folders had double character  m.s.p.s.t..d.l.l.      

I deleted the 4 subkeys and opened outlook.  I thought I was successful because the 4 bad folders were all gone!

Alas, I then discovered that the 3 ActivePsts now had the operation failed problem.

I restored the subkeys and the 3 ActivePsts are back to normal, but the 4 ArchivePSTs are again broken.

I need a heavy duty registry expert to give me some more ideas.

RBerke

P.S. Just in case you want a little more context of my registry, here it is:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\
          Profiles
               Outlook
                   0930f6ac16575f4e96c9b3819716ee10
                   0a0d020000000000c000000000000046
                   13dbb0c8aa05101a9bb000aa002fc45a
                   28b3d439c0843a469a27762965be9044
                   3517490d76624c419a828607e2a54604
                   ....Bunch more ending in  ...
                   f86ed2903a4a11cfb57e524153480001
               PstLoadTmp000
               PstLoadTmp001
               ....Bunch more ending in ...
               PstLoadTmp021
               rberke
                    040de91705c69a42b71adfdd3d8fc243
                    09d99e39abb0ec4cbee2311a31937bf5
                    0a0d020000000000c000000000000046
                    Bunch more
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Question by:rberke
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usankar earned 1500 total points
ID: 16414457
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by:rberke
ID: 16473493

Does anybody know of a way to tell Regedit to search for <f.o.l.d.e.....>?  I also tried using Lavasoft RegHance, but that also failed.

I did discover that at least 2 of my damaged PSTs are archive PSTs.  The outlook-tips article specifically warns me that they "may be harder to remove."

Outlook-tips tells me that "ghosts will have just one key".  Unfortunately, finding these is extremely difficult.  For instance, I can't find ANY keys that contain <foldername1>. This is because the data is stored as <f.o.l.d.e.r...> with each byte separated by a 00 byte.  


I tried exporting the entire node to a .reg file which I opened and maniuplated in excel. In theory this could work, but  I haven't devoted enough time to it.  I gave up after creating a mess involving  UDFs and      =myhex2text(myfirstvalid(myWhatIsAfterColon(a1),a1:a300).

I am getting a sinking feeling here that I will have to rebuild my profile and pray that it doesn't go bad again.



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Author Comment

by:rberke
ID: 16579101
If you'll remember, I was having a problem finding <f.o.l.d.e.r .... > where the . represents a 00 bytes.

I found a better way:

First: use excel custom function "text2hex" to convert my desired folder names into hex.  (folder became) 66,6f,6c,64 etc

Second: I used regedit to find  001f3001.  <<===this is the standard registry key for outlook folder names.  (001f6700 would be used if I wanted to find the PST's full path name)

each f3 finds the next key with 001f3001.  I then just look at the data value and see if it starts with 66,00,6f,00...
If it doesn't start with that value, I key f3 again and keep looking.

unfortunately, I had to stop fooling around with this junk.  I deleted my old user profile and rebuilt it from scratch.

Since usankar was the only responder, he (she?) gets 500 points for pointing to a decent article on the subject.

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by:rberke
ID: 19671315
Before using this post, you might also want to review http://www.computing.net/office/wwwboard/forum/5203.html.

Let's say your Outlook has a root folder named "OhDrat" that you cannot access properly.  You might be getting any of the following error messages (and a few others):

   "The file xxxxx could not be found"
   "the set of folders could not be opened"
   "The operation failed. An object could not be found."

Sometimes it is because OhDrat was deleted long ago, but its "ghost" is remembered by Outlook.

Other times OhDrat is working just fine except you cannot rename the root folder. (This would show up when you try to click properties > advanced.

The following procedure  will fix the problem.


create excel custom function "text2hex" to convert the root folder name into double byte HEX.  (see below for details).  "OhDrat" becomes 4F,00,68,00,44,00,72,00,61,00,74,00.   (which would display in TEXT as O.h.D.r.a.t). Make a note of this desired HEX of the root name.

AT THIS POINT YOU SHOULD CLOSE OUTLOOK.

open regedit and ctrl F to find 001f3001  (which is the standard registry name for outlook folder names).
Repeat the F3 until the data field matches the desired hex value    ( for instance 4F,00,68, && 
   
Look a little lower in the right hand panel for key name 001f6700.  Double click on that number and a dialog will pop up that tells you the full explorer path where "OhDrat" is located.    Its a little confusing, because the left hand of the dialog box has the path in double byte HEX while the right hand has the path the path in double byte TEXT (on other words you will see "C.:.\.O.h.D.r.a.t...P.S.T.". Make a note of the desired location.

Usually the above F3 searches will not find your OhDrat double byte folder name 45,00,68,00...  But sometimes the folder name is stored in single byte form as "OhDrat".  If you can't find 45,00,68,00&&try the following.

   open regedit and find 001e300a   (careful, that is a slightly different key data name than was used earlier)
   Repeat the F3 until the data value and matches the desired TEXT value    ( for instance "OhDrat")
   Look lower for key name 001f6700.  It contains the path name, so make a note of it.

Leave regedit open and use explorer to make sure the file is where you want it.   If its missing, it was probably deleted, or moved or renamed.  Recovery of the file is beyond the scope of this post.

I like to rename the path so that I can document the recovery process.  For instance, I might rename it to be
C:\OhDrat recovered 11-1-2007 emails from 1-1-2007 to 10-31-07.  If that confuses you too much, you can skip that step.

return to regedit and use Export to save the full key to c:\Export OhDrat.reg.  (If you are new to regedit, you probably should export the entire registry first)

Look in the left hand pane for the key that contains your "OhDrat" data names.  The icon is an open folder.
Click on that folder and delete it.  It might help to use Edit > Copy Key Name    to put the name on the folder.

When you open Outlook, the folder should be gone.  

If you were simply deleteing a "Ghost", you are done.  But if your problems was "operation failed", the following steps need to be performed.

Use Outlook File>Open>Outlook Data File  and navigate to  "c:\OhDrat recovered 11-1-2007 emails from &"

Click OK and the root folder should reappear, but it will still be named "OhDrat" which does NOT document things very well.
Right click on OhDrat > properties > advanced >    change the name form OhDrat to   "OhDrat recovered 11-1-2007 etc) and OK back to Outlook.

That's all there is too it.  Easy as pie  !!!



----------- creating the Excel  Text2Hex function ------------

open a new excel workbook and save it as C:\fixoutlook.xls
alt f11 to open vba
alt v p to view project navigator
In left hand pane double click on VBAproject  (fixoutlook.xls) 
double cllick until it expands to show:
    Microsoft Excel Objects
         Forms
         Modules
             
alt I M    to insert a new module
cut and paste the following code into the right hand pane.

    Function Text2Hex(rtbText As String, Optional padWithZeroByte As Boolean = True) As String
    Dim Pos As Long
    Dim CurChar As String
    On Error Resume Next
    Dim ans As String
    For i = 1 To Len(rtbText)
    CurChar = Mid(rtbText, i, 1)
    ans = ans & "," & Hex(Asc(CurChar))
    If padWithZeroByte Then ans = ans & ",00"
    Next i
    Text2Hex = Mid(ans, 2)
    End Function
   
alt f11 back to fixoutlook.xls

Insert "OhDrat" in cell a1 and   =text2hex(a1) in cell a2

Cell a2 will now show the double byte Hex for "OhDrat"
    4F,00,68,00,44,00,72,00,61,00,74,00


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Author Comment

by:rberke
ID: 20811327
I have corrected a few errors and improved the last half of the above procedure. It is very similar but much faster.


Before using this post, you might also want to review http://www.computing.net/office/wwwboard/forum/5203.html.

Let's say your Outlook has a root folder named "OhDrat" that you cannot access properly.  You might be getting any of the following error messages (and a few others):

   "The file xxxxx could not be found"
   "the set of folders could not be opened"
   "The operation failed. An object could not be found."

Sometimes it is because OhDrat was deleted long ago, but its "ghost" is remembered by Outlook.

Other times OhDrat is working just fine except you cannot rename the root folder. (This would show up when you try to click properties > advanced.

The following procedure  will fix the problem.


1.) create excel custom function "text2hex" to convert the root folder name into double byte HEX.  (see below for details).  "OhDrat" becomes 4F,00,68,00,44,00,72,00,61,00,74,00.   (which would display in TEXT as O.h.D.r.a.t). Make a note of this TARGET HEX value.

2.) AT THIS POINT YOU SHOULD CLOSE OUTLOOK

3.) open regedit and ctrl F to find 001f6700.  That will contain the full path name of any one of Outlook's open folders.  Naturally, the full path name might be something like "c:\myOhDratFile.pst"  whereas, the Outlook Folder name might be similar like "OhDrat", or entirely different like "Personal Folder".  

In the right hand panel, look slightly above 001f6700 for one of these two keys.  Repeat f3 until you find a folder with  one of these:

      001f3001 REG_BINARY   4F,00,68,00..   (which is the TARGET HEX for O.h.D.r.a.t)
 or  001e300a reg_binary     4F,68,              (which is the TARGET HEX for OhDrat)


      001f6700 reg_binar y 63,00,3A,00,5C,00,6D&&  (which is the hex for c:\myOhDratFile.PST)

3) Double click on 001f6700 and a dialog will pop up that tells you the full explorer path where "OhDrat" is located.    Its a little confusing, because the left hand of the dialog box has the path in unreadable double byte HEX while the right hand has the path in barely readable double byte TEXT (on other words you will see "C.:.\.m.y.O.h.D.r.a.t...P.S.T.". Make a note of this TARGET PATH NAME.

4) Leave regedit open and use explorer to make sure the file is where you want it.   If its missing, it was probably deleted, or moved or renamed.  Recovery of the file is beyond the scope of this post.

I like to rename the path so that I can document the recovery process.  For instance, I might rename it to be
C:\OhDrat recovered 11-1-2007 emails from 1-1-2007 to 10-31-07.  If that confuses you too much, you can skip that step.

5) return to regedit and use Export to save the full key to c:\Export OhDrat.reg.  (If you are new to regedit, you probably should export the entire registry first)

Look in the left hand pane for the key that contains your "OhDrat" data names.  The icon is an open folder (It will NEVER has a "+" or a "-"  next to it.)

Click on that folder and delete it.  It might help to use Edit > Copy Key Name    to put the name on the folder.

6)  It is a good idea to repeat steps 3 to 5.  There might have been another user profiles with the OHDrat in it. Eventually step 3 should stop showing you any occurances of OhDrat.

7) When you open Outlook, the folder should be gone.  

If you were simply deleteing a "Ghost", you are done.  But if your problems was "operation failed", the following steps need to be performed to restore the file to outlook.

Use Outlook File>Open>Outlook Data File  and navigate to  "c:\OhDrat recovered 11-1-2007 emails from &"

Click OK and the root folder should reappear, but it will still be named "OhDrat" which does NOT document things very well.
Right click on OhDrat > properties > advanced >    change the name form OhDrat to   "OhDrat recovered 11-1-2007 etc) and OK back to Outlook.

7) That's all there is too it.  Easy as pie  !!!
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Expert Comment

by:wvail
ID: 24045470
For quick fix, try using the CodeTwo PST Ghostbuster tool: http://www.codetwo.com/pages/freeware/pst_ghostbuster.php?downloadType=PSTGhostbuster.exe
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